So, what did the students like most about my work?
(I picked some of the responses - the only change I made was the translation from Slovenian to English)
- An unobtrusive way of presenting information.
- That the tutor participated whenever it was necessary and that she always helped us when we were stuck.
- Kindness, immediate answers, professional attitude.
- The tutor's interventions in our discussion were good and she guided us.
- Encouraging words, quick response in case of problems, relaxed atmosphere.
- That she always responded when she was asked to and when she sensed that we were going astray from out discussions or that she encouraged us when we despaired.
- Actually, I got more than I expected.
And here's another trick - it's better to log in the system a few times a day than to spend a certain amount of hours online once a day. The picture I made displays this concept. The red dots represent activities that require response, the rectangles (the color matches the color of the tutor) represent the time each tutor spends online - we can see that in the case of the Morning tutor (that is online online for X numbers in the mornings) the response time for certain activities is much longer than in the case of the Flexible tutor (that also works less because he responds to student needs).
While I was tutoring the course, I checked for new posts AT LEAST 3 times a day - first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening; and that is how I was able to quickly respond to all questions and all unexpected situations. And why is that so? Because one of the advantages of e-learning is the flexibility in time and space - students can freely choose when and where they will work from. Some do it when they get to the office in the morning, some do it in the afternoons, and some in late evening after they put their kids to bed. And if you as an online tutor want to be there for them you have to keep track of all these groups (luckily for me we don't have students in different time zones or I'd probably be awoke by concern in the middle of the night to check the evening activities of american students and morning activities of asian students ;) ).
Yes, being an online tutor (in my opinion) definitely isn't a straight 8 hours work. In hours it may seem like you don't too much, but you do have to work practically all day and even during weekends. Plus you have to predicts the needy situation that will require more of your attention, but in the end, for me, it's a fun and exciting job as few others.
And here are some of my favorite links related to the the subject of this post (alphabetically):
- Clive Shepherd: In search of the perfect e-tutor
- LearnDirect: Online tutor
- Maggie McPherson and Miguel Baptista Nunes: The Role of Tutors as an Integral Part of Online Learning Support
- Scot Headley: Five Roles I Play in Online Courses
Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at blog.ialja.com, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.